A $50,000 Lotterywest grant will see nearly five kilometres added onto the Wadandi Track.
Once fully constructed, the recreational trail will stretch 108km following the alignment of former Busselton to Flinders Bay Railway corridor, showcasing the industries and communities the rail line served from 1884 to 1957.
Currently the track within the Shire of Augusta Margaret River starts in Cowaramup and ends at Calgardup Road, south of Witchcliffe.
The grant will combine with a matching contribution from the shire will allow a reconstruction of the trail further south to Sebbes Road.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River Director of Infrastructure Dr Markus Botte said the project offered a range of benefits to both locals and visitors.
“Being on a relatively flat gradient, the Wadandi Track caters for walkers and cyclists of all ages and levels of mobility,” he said.
“It will benefit local residents who can quickly and easily access the trail for commuting or recreation, and the extension will provide an opportunity for longer one-way or return trip excursions.
“The extension will also serve the Margaret River Independent School, providing an opportunity for students to walk or cycle to school away from busy roads.
“It’s also a fantastic tourism drawcard that will attract a range of user groups.”
Once complete, the Wadandi Track will traverse the shire from north to south and provide a spine that links into several existing and proposed regional paths/trails and to the path networks within the towns through which it passes.
Together with the existing Cape to Cape Track, Cape Naturaliste-Dunsborough trail, Dunsborough-Busselton shared path and the proposed Flinders Bay-Cape Leeuwin trail, it will form an over 200km long trail within the Margaret River Region.
Construction of the Wadandi Track will achieve a number of outcomes identified in the Shire's Community Strategic Plan, including liveable and well-designed places, connected and safe transport network, quality parks gardens and green spaces, community environmental education, sustainable tourism industry and protection of heritage.
Construction of the track extension is scheduled to commence in April 2018.